A captivating memoir of a life in art.

THE LOFT GENERATION

FROM THE DE KOONINGS TO TWOMBLY: PORTRAITS AND SKETCHES, 1942-2011

An intimate portrait of artists and their worlds.

From assorted notes and manuscripts, Burckhardt and Venturini have assembled a vibrant memoir by artist and critic Edith Schloss (1919-2011), Burckhardt’s mother, who lived and worked in New York City in the 1940s and ’50s and, after 1962, in Italy. Born into an affluent Jewish family in Germany, Schloss was sent abroad to school; by 1938, she found her way to London and, a few years later, arrived in New York. She enrolled at the Art Students League and soon moved to Chelsea, where artists had taken over cheap, barely habitable lofts—“huge stages for work and for a whole new free way of living.” Her circle quickly expanded to include Fairfield Porter; William de Kooning (she was dazzled by his “absolute sunstruck power”); his acerbic wife, Elaine; photographer Rudy Burckhardt, whom Schloss later married; composers Elliott Carter and John Cage; poets Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch; and scores of others. At the time, most were aspiring rather than acclaimed artists. “In those days,” writes Schloss, “nobody was anybody. Friends were friends, and they brought you their pictures,” sometimes for criticism and encouragement, sometimes as gifts. But this splendid memoir is more than a who’s who of famous figures. From Edwin Denby, Schloss learned to “look at the quotidian, look at the world around you,” and “celebrate it the best you can.” Shrewdly observant, Schloss conveys in painterly prose the spirited individuals whose lives she shared and the worlds they inhabited: Porter’s bedroom walls, painted “milk blue or a raw bluey-pink”; Franz Kline, “Bogart-like cool and melancholy”; the “fugitive” sparkle of Denby’s flashing eyes; and, not least, the creation of abstract art from “the marvelous movement of the loaded brush, the flow of paint on paint.” The book is generously illustrated with snapshots and artworks and appended with a biographical essay and glossary.

A captivating memoir of a life in art.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-374-19008-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

THE DEFENSE LAWYER

THE BARRY SLOTNICK STORY

The Patterson publishing machine clanks its way into the nonfiction aisles in this lumbering courtroom drama.

Barry Slotnick made a considerable fortune and reputation as a defense attorney who had a long list of controversial clients, including mob boss John Gotti and Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. An “urbane lawyer known for his twenty-five-hundred-dollar Fioravanti suits, he was not unacquainted with violence,” write Patterson and Wallace. One of his early cases, indeed, involved a group of Jewish Defense League members who allegedly blew up a Broadway producer’s office, killing a woman who worked there. Slotnick’s defense was a standard confuse-the-jury ploy, but it worked. He put similar tactics to work in his defense of Bernhard Goetz, the “subway shooter” whose trial made international news. The authors open after that trial had concluded in yet another Slotnick win, and with a sensational incident: He was attacked by a masked man who beat him with a baseball bat. The evidence is sketchy, but it seems to place the attack in the hands of organized crime—perhaps even Gotti himself. No matter: Slotnick, “who saw himself as the foe of the all-powerful government” and “liberty’s last champion,” was soon back to representing clients including Radovan Karadžić, the murderous Bosnian Serb who was eventually imprisoned for having committed genocide; Dewi Sukarno, the widow of Indonesia’s similarly bloodstained president, “arrested for slashing the face of a fellow socialite with a broken champagne glass at a party in Aspen”; and Melania Trump, who had chosen Slotnick “to handle her prenup.” In the hands of a John Grisham, the story might have come to life, but while Patterson does a serviceable if cliché-ridden job of recounting Slotnick’s career, he fails to give readers much reason to admire the man.

For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49437-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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